Sringeri sahitya sammelan faces new set of hurdles


Town Panchayat denies permission to put up banners, flex

The two-day 16th Chikkamagaluru district Kannada Sahitya Sammelan at Sringeri from Friday, that is facing pressure from Kannada and Culture Minister C.T. Ravi to change the event president, had a new set of hurdles to cross on Thursday.

While the police had denied permission for a procession citing possible law and order issues, the Town Panchayat denied permission to put up banners, flex and buntings of the event. The Deputy Director of Public Instruction also withdrew the on official duty (OOD) facility for teachers, who wanted to attend the event. Similarly, the Deputy Director of Pre-University Education withdrew the OOD facility granted earlier for PU lecturers.

However, the organisers, the Chikkamagaluru district unit of Kannada Sahitya Parishat (KSP), has decided to go ahead with the event.

Mr. Ravi, who is also Minister in-charge of the district, had opposed the selection of Kalkuli Vittala Heggade to preside over the event and had instructed the Central KSP not to release its grant for the event. He described Mr. Heggade as a “naxal sympathiser”.

Kundur Ashok, district president of KSP, told The Hindu: “The preparations for the event are under way. We will hold the event, despite all difficulties. The Town Panchayat, where the BJP holds power, has denied permission to put up banners and buntings,” he said.

Banners removed

The event is scheduled to be held at BGS Samudaya Bhavan in Sringeri town. The police visited the spot on Thursday and ensured banners put up by the organisers were removed. Naveen Karuvane, an office-bearer of the sahitya parishat, said: “The administration is obstructing the arrangements at every step. We are committed to holding the event.”

Many intellectuals and writers have expressed their support to the event. Noted theatre personality Prasanna issued a statement criticising the State government for its stand on this issue. “It is an assault on the culture of the land,” he said.

Meanwhile, organisations opposing the selection of Mr. Heggade circulated pamphlets for Sringeri bandh on Friday as a mark of protest against the sammelan. The police have said they would not allow any procession from any group on the day.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2020 4:41:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/sringeri-sahitya-sammelan-faces-new-set-of-hurdles/article30526797.ece

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